ABB explores opportunities with Imperial College to further expertise in digital grids

2017-10-26 - Discussions cover a projected investment of around £1 million pounds for the creation of a demonstrator unit embracing the full scope of the UK’s Future Energy Networks from transmission and distribution through to the consumer
Ulrich Speisshofer, Chief Executive Officer of the ABB Group, recently visited Imperial College in London to sign a memorandum of understanding with Professor Nick Jennings, Vice Provost of Research, to explore opportunities for the creation of a unique digital power network demonstrator unit.

The demonstrator will comprise examples of ABB’s digitally enabled substation switchgear together with automation systems and energy storage. The aim is to mimic as closely as possible the operation of real-life power networks from transmission, through distribution to ‘behind the meter’ equipment such as domestic energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

Researchers could use the demonstrator to model the behaviour of future networks. It would also allow them to identify potential issues and solve them offline in safe and controlled conditions.

Ulrich Speisshofer said: “The demonstrator will build on our long partnership with Imperial College and will pave the way for greater excellence in power systems research and teaching. The transition to future energy systems, incorporating the ABB Ability digital offering will require a new generation of engineers with enhanced digital skills to build and operate the power grids of the future.”

“The ABB demonstrator would prove invaluable in helping our students explore the full potential of the latest transmission and distribution technology to help networks evolve to meet the growing operational and stability challenges presented by renewable energy, distributed generation resources and electric vehicles. It will also help to address the current skills gap for engineers who are ready to design, build and operate the UK’s Future Energy Networks”, said Professor Tim Green, Director of the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial.

l to r: Ulrich Speisshofer, CEO of ABB, Prof. Nick Jennings, Vice Provost of Research, Imperial College and Ian Funnell, Country MD, ABB UK